PHOTOS: Life Along the Borders

The recent book On Borders features the work of photographers who captured images of boundaries both literal and metaphorical

Espen Eichhöfer / Ostkreuz

On the Front Lines: South Sudan

South Sudan
(Espen Eichhöfer / Ostkreuz)

Photographer Espen Eichhöfer chose to be in South Sudan on July 9, 2011, the day it became an independent state, formally demarcating the line separating it from the north. In this photo, a South Sudanese soldier appears unsure of his place at a rehearsal to welcome African leaders. “I tried to show those moments that are beyond this official picture that the country wants to produce of itself,” Eichhöfer says.

On the Front Lines: Belfast

Belfast Northern Ireland
(Anne Schönharting / Ostkreuz)

Anne Schönharting captured this photo in Belfast, Northern Ireland’s capital, where tall walls called “peace lines” separate the city’s Catholic and Protestant quarters. During a period called “the Troubles”—from around 1969 to 1998—Catholic and Protestant citizens battled in bloody street wars and 20 kilometers of walls were built in an attempt to curb the violence. In this image, Gerry Reynolds, a Catholic priest, stands in front of a peace line on Bombay Street in West Belfast in 2011.

Turkey-Greece Border

Turkey Greece border
(Julian Röder / Ostkreuz)

Photographer Julian Röder visited the Turkey-Greece border, a popular illegal entryway into the European Union, to observe the next generation of border patrol. An agency called Frontex has revolutionized the EU’s border security in recent years, transitioning from barbed wire and watchdogs to infrared cameras, motion detectors and electric fences, along with plans to incorporate robots and drones. In this picture, Frontex patrols the border of Greece with Turkey in the Evros region in January 2012.

Roma Families

Roma families
(Annette Hauschild / Ostkreuz)

Annette Hauschild lived with Roma families in Italy, Kosovo, Hungary and Slovakia. According to myth, the Roma—known to English speakers as gypsies—are a nomadic people who wander the world without regard for national borders. Most Roma are in fact settled throughout Europe, though, and suffer persecution as minorities with no home country of their own. In this photo, Hauschild captured two gypsy children, Alex and Enikó, playing at a window in Hungary in 2012.

North Korea - South Korea Border

North Korea and South Korea border
(Jörg Brüggemann / Ostkreuz)

At the border between North Korea and South Korea, a heavily militarized, 2.5-mile-wide and 160 mile-long buffer keeps the peace between the two enemy states. South Korea draws tourists to the border with historical displays and observatories. In this photograph shot in June 2012, photographer Jörg Brüggemann found families collecting shells at Songjijo Beach near the border on South Korea’s west coast.